If you’re trying to get healthy, there are a variety of products out there designed and advertised to help you.
Tracking steps is now a trend because we’re told we need to move more.
I’ve had my share of activity trackers and I want to share a bit about how they work:
1) Your iPhone comes with Health, which has motion tracking. If you keep your phone in your pocket as you move, you have a pretty good pedometer on hand at no additional cost. You can also download apps that can assist you with running or cycling, sleeping, and diet trackers. Some people are not as focused on health and weight loss – which in that case, this may very well be all you need!
2) Sqords. I absolutely love Sqords! It turns activity into a game. Movement gives you points and coins, which you can use on the website to upgrade your avatar or buy phrases. Because this was built to be safe for kids, they only allow players to send pre-approved phrases or high fives – making it safe for your kids to compete against strangers without risking their information. And did I mention how cheap it is? $35 plus shipping gets you a wristband with a lifetime membership to Sqord. However it doesn’t track steps or calories. Or heart rate. It converts all these things to points. Works great for kids if you, as a family, want to get active without making your children conscious about calorie burning.
3) Fitbits are probably the most popular. You track steps and compete with other friends who are fitbit users for bragging rights. But they come in different models and you really need to read the specs! A basic pedometer doesn’t track your heart rate, elevation, and is completely useless if you’re pushing a stroller or riding a bike. The most advanced fitbit will do all that and display the text messages from your phone. I recommend one that at least tracks heart rate.
4) I really like the Jawbone. I was gifted one and I’m pleasantly surprised with it! Looking like a bracelet it doesn’t have much of a display, but it’s tracking is wonderful. With a 14 day battery life you can also sleep with it and track your sleep as well. UP comes with nutrition and exercise coaching and syncs well with other apps. The one I have doesn’t read my heart rate but it does so good aside from that, that my husband and I won’t take ours off.
5) I also have an apple watch. It’s the sport model because that’s the priority. I’m not going to lie, an extension of your phone to your wrist is very convenient. I’m very spoiled in checking my watch to see if I need to respond to the notification immediately or my phone can stay in my purse a little longer. Fitness wise, the Apple watch is amazing! Heart rate monitor on live display. Set activity goals. You can swim with it! In and of itself it has all the functions of an activity tracker that you like BUT it doesn’t play well with others. So you lose the friendly competition you can have with other activity trackers. It also doesn’t like to share information with other apps so although you can display your run trainer on your wrist, the watch won’t tell your app what your heart rate was.
All this information is meaningless without one key component: You have to want to move. And improve. If you’re not motivated to move more than there’s absolutely nothing any activity device can do for you! So think about HOW you want to be active and then think about the features you need in order to PUSH YOURSELF FURTHER.
If all you want to do is walk, any pedometer will do. If you want to bike or run, something that measures active heart rate plus distance in miles. For Zumba I don’t move very far but my heart rate goes through the roof. If you have any questions, post them below! I’d be happy to help!